Hunt was born on 17 November 1986 in Auckland, New Zealand, to Hans and Tera Hunt, from Samoa and the Cook Islands respectively. He began playing rugby league at the age of four for the Avondale Wolves before moving to Australia in 1997, the family moved to the suburb of Algester in Brisbane, Australia. Upon moving to Brisbane, Hunt played junior rugby league for the Souths club in Acacia Ridge. Hunt's childhood hero was Michael Jordan and, prior to his rugby league success, he dreamt of playing basketball in the United States.
In 2000, Hunt made his representative debut with the Under-14 South–East team of the Queensland Rugby League (QRL), in the fullback position. In 2001, he became part of the Under-15 Australian merit side, and, upon seeing him play rugby league, NRL club Brisbane Broncos scout Cyril Connell offered him a scholarship with the club. Hunt accepted the Broncos scholarship and, after strong performance at Souths Acacia Ridge and Sunnybank High School, received a scholarship to the Anglican Church Grammar School (ACGS).
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